Both the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable content coming to the Xbox 360 and the DS-based Chinatown Wars may be hitting later than expected, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick told a gathering at today's BMO Capital Markets 16th Annual Interactive Entertainment Conference in New York City. "Some of your are interested in our release schedule," he said. "To update that, our PC title will be released early next month. Downloadable content is a big undertaking. It's important that it be really special, really something unexpected by consumers. We're setting incredibly high standards for it. We have it planned for the end of the first quarter. It's close to be completed. That said, it may move into the second quarter depending on its completion date.""Chinatown Wars we've decided to move out of the first quarter in order to fill out a better launch and marketing window. The title will ship in the first half of our fiscal year and we will provide more information on release dates by the time we report our earnings next month." The comments came following a presentation by Zelnick that both highlighted the company's successes and stressed the concerns he and other developers have about the seemingly worsening economy. "On the horizon we see a number of strategic growth opportunities including new channels of distribution, new markets, new products and new business models," he told the gathering. "We have a very strong publishing platform and an unrivaled development team." But minutes later he described the current retail conditions as "extraordinarily challenging" and said that there has been a "softening of retail" that has had a negative impact on the industry. So Take-Two's strategy is to "release a limited number of top tier titles" in the hope it will cushion the publisher in the short run. Thanks to MTV Multiplayer for the heads-up.
I don't see anything at this point that shows that GTA IV DLC will be anything significant. Sales of the game have long peaked. Doing a massive undertaking and hoping that even a tenth of the people who bought the game for 360 will roll back around to play it is a either a testament to having some serious balls, or naivete on the grandest scale. I'm starting to believe that that chance isn't going to be taken. If it's anything more than a couple of rinky dink multiplayer modes and a few story missions, or maybe a new vehicle or two, I'll be floored.
It's not like R* would admit to the 50 mil they were paid was strictly to keep this puppy at a simultaneous release with an extra perk thrown in. It doesn't make sense to blow a big wad of what they were paid at more development with projected iffy returns. Seems this content hit low-priority status with them a while ago. They know it, and we're getting that feeling too.
I'm feeling burned here personally. I like GTA IV, but feeling it's missing a lot gamewise. More than it's predecessor (San Andreas) in terms of sheer content. I was hoping the DLC would fill in that hole, so hearing about the money that changed hands left me kinda geeked on what we'll be getting. Now it feels like nothing more than a powerplay to yank some crackers out of Sony's mouth. I feel like nowadays the less that PS3 became a threat, the less that Rockstar had to oblige any more reason to convince you that you bought the right version.
I feel so used. But... I could be wrong.